(Edinburgh: printed by the assigns of Alexander Kincaid, 1788, 1785). 178 x 108 mm. (7 x 4 1/4").  leaves.
VERY PLEASING CONTEMPORARY SCOTTISH CRIMSON MOROCCO, HANDSOMELY GILT, covers with single fillet outer border and entwined feather and bead gilt roll as inner border, smooth spine panels decorated with gilt curls at corners and one of three large and elegant centerpieces (spider’s web within starburst, urn with garland, and urn with stylized bird alighting on its finial), black morocco label, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Verso of first preliminary blank neatly signed in ink by early owner Helen Campbell. Griffiths 1788/9. Upper joint just slightly rubbed and flaked, faint soiling to covers, one gathering trivially browned, but a very pleasing copy, clean and fresh internally, and in a solid binding that still gleams.
Looking very pretty on the shelf, this is an elegant Edinburgh binding with Neoclassical elements that hint at the influence of James Scott. Working outside the two traditional Scottish geometrical manners of decoration--the so-called "wheel" and "herringbone" styles--Scott (fl. 1773-84) made a significant divergent contribution to British bookbinding, and his work is highly prized. Whoever is responsible for our binding, (s)he has exhibited a measure of Scott's originality, and shows notable subtlety in the facile use of tools. (ST16866c)
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PJP Catalog: 78.129